After taking over a year off because of a shoulder injury, the guy most often thought of as the pound for pound king after Floyd Mayweather (they should really create another title for Floyd) is back in the ring.
Most of the talk as it concerns this fight is about who Andre Ward fights next. Most want to see he face GGG even though I think it’s a bit too early for that. I’d wait at least a year. And then there’s the rematch with Carl Froch that will be there until either man retires.
I asked our boxing expert Duan about Rodriguez’s chances earlier this week and here’s what he said:
I suppose Ward could be rusty after all the time off. Maybe it will take him a while to warm to the fight, and then he will need to play catch up. I don’t expect it to be a problem though. We’ve never really see him look even a small bit “off” before.
The opponent is good. Just probably not good enough.
Andre Ward vs. Edwin Rodriguez
First round was definitely a bit hard to watch. Lots of holding, pushing, and fighting on the inside, though not a lot of landing punches.
Ward landing some shots now, but fight definitely in his style. Easy two rounds so far.
Easy round for Ward and you can see Rodriguez getting frustrated.
The frustration came out as he hit Ward on the break and the referee decided that he also struck him. He took two points from both guys, which means this is a 8-7 round for Ward.
From Duan: This is calculated. Ward is going to break this guy’s heart.
Rodriguez looked a little better, but still slow. Rodriguez isn’t scared to fight inside, he’s just not as skilled. Ward is breaking him down.
Rodriguez looked slow before, but is now looking sluggish. It’s probably because of him trying to take off the weight yesterday and being unable to do so. If Ward wants to get an impressive knockout, would be a good one based on how big Rodriguez is right now.
Ward ripped his head back with a combination and all Rodriguez could do was take it and then kind of swing. He just needs to let his hands go. He missed terribly on a lunging hook. Ward was out of there before Rodriguez even started it.
Ward is so brilliant in that every punch seems focused and there’s a reason for every one. Ward doesn’t waste punches. His jab is brutal and thrown with purpose rather than just thrown as a guide. When he does let the right hand go, it’s short and to the point. Rodriguez is game in that you can tell life sucks for him, but he’s trying to get something going. When he goes at Ward, he gets pounded. When Ward goes forward, Rodriguez is pounded. He can’t win.
Ward did something pretty slick. After badgering this dude with nasty jabs all night, he flung it out there and kept his hand on Rodriguez’s face, blinding him from seeing the right hand coming and then ripped him with a right hand. But really, it’s all jabs and hooks. The fight is a shut out thus far.
Ward landed a brutal left hook that I thought put Rodriguez out, but it didn’t. I thought the lights were on but no one was home. He may not be in the same caliber, but Rodriguez can take a punch.
More of the same, though the round was a bit of a round off for Ward. At this point, Rodriguez has no chance, but to throw every possible punch in round twelve. I don’t think it happens.
It was a bit of a wrestling match in the last round. There was a cut that opened up over Rodriguez’s eye that might’ve been from a head butt. Ward landed the most amazing punch of the night. Rodriguez bounced in at the same time Ward jumped in with a nasty jab. I thought he was going to put him down with it, but credit to Rodriguez, he stayed up.
Winner: Andre Ward by unanimous decision
The scores were 118-106, 117-107, and 116-108.